Le Cantique des Cantiques
Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur

About the recording

This is a live recording of two movements of Le Cantique des Cantiques by Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesure. It was performed at St Pancras Parish Church on Saturday 9 May 2015 by The Epiphoni Consort directed by Tim Reader.

About the composer

Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur, known often simply as Daniel-Lesur (November 19, 1908 – July 2, 2002) was a French organist and composer. His mother, Alice Lesur, was an accomplished composer in her own right; some of her music was even published. Daniel-Lesur was a student of Charles Tournemire. In 1935 he became a professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum under its new director, Nestor Lejeune. The following year he co-founded the group La Jeune France along with composers Olivier Messiaen (with whom he would remain a lifelong friend), André Jolivet and Yves Baudrier, who were attempting to re-establish a more human and less abstract form of composition. La Jeune France developed from the avant-garde chamber music society La spirale, formed by Jolivet, Messiaen, and Daniel-Lesur the previous year. That same year he, together with Jean Langlais and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, gave the first performance of Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur.

Daniel-Lesur also served as director of the Opéra National de Paris from 1971 to 1973. Daniel-Lesur’s most well-known composition is the a capella choral work Le Cantique des Cantiques, a setting for twelve voices of parts of the Song of Songs, interspersed with Latin verses and New Testament texts.